Post-Holiday Recycling!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season! For information regarding Christmas tree recycling, how to safely recycle old Christmas lights, and wrapping paper recycling, see below!

Wrapping paper

Most gift wrap is recyclable, except plastic wraps or metallic papers. All cardboard and paperboard packaging is also recyclable. Please reuse ribbons and bows or discard in the trash.  If you do not have curbside recycling where you live, you may utilize the Town of Normal’s drop-off locations.

Christmas trees

Residents of Bloomington and Normal enrolled in those municipalities’ waste collection programs may dispose of their real (non-artificial) Christmas tree by placing it at the curb for collection on your regularly scheduled waste collection day. As these trees will be chipped into mulch, please be sure to remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, etc. Please do not put your tree or any other waste in the street.

For residents outside of Bloomington or Normal, please check with your local municipality for tree collection options. If you do not have tree collection service at your home or in your municipality, Twin City Wood Recycling will accept your tree for chipping into mulch at their facility at 1606 W Oakland Avenue in Bloomington at a cost of $2 per tree. Call (309) 827-9663 for more information and operating hours.

Christmas lights & other e-waste

Illinois law bans most consumer electronics from landfills–they must be recycled instead. Residents can recycle strings of Christmas lights, cords, and related electronic items, regardless of condition, at one of the many locations listed below.

Did Santa bring you a new TV? Note that only two local sites now accept the older tube-style CRT TVs and monitors for recycling. See “Items Accepted” for each of the e-waste recycling collection points below.

Location: Best Buy, 2103 N Veterans Pkwy Suite 200, Bloomington, 309-663-8090
Items Accepted: Computers, computer accessories, monitors, televisions up to 32″ (flatscreens up to 60″), all types of radios, VCRs, cameras, etc. Damaged or non-working items accepted. Customers are limited to bringing in 3 units per day per household.
Items Not Accepted: appliances, microwaves, TVs that are consoles, rear-projections, or DLPs or larger than 32″, items with freon such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators. No business generated waste.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am-8:00 pm

Location: Home Sweet Home Warehouse Operations, 1700 W Washington St., Bloomington, 309-828-1530
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs,
Microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories
All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices. All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes (ONLY at Mission Mart location)
Items Not Accepted: No CRT (tube-style) TVs or monitors, no VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business-generated waste
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:00 am-4:00 pm, 24 hour drop-off

Location: Habitat For Humanity ReStore, 1402 W Washington, Bloomington, 309-454-6047
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs, Microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted. All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes. All forms of printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories. All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices.
Items Not Accepted: No CRT (tube-style) TVs or monitors, no VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business generated waste
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:00 am-5:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am-4:00 pm

Location: Normal Public Works Garage, 1301 Warriner St., Normal, 309-454-9571
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops,televisions, monitors, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs, microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted.
All forms of electronic media: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes. All forms of printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories. All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices.
Items Not Accepted: No VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business generated waste
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 am-2:30 pm; the first Saturday of every month 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Summer hours 6:00 am-1:30 pm (Memorial Day through Labor Day)

For more information on recycling, hazardous waste disposal, and more, you can always consult other sections of this or call us at 309-454-3169.

Vermicomposting Workshop

Would you like to learn more about vermicomposting, and make and take home your very own vermicompost bin and worms? Join us on Monday, November 27 at 5:30 pm, learn about vermicomposting, construct your own container, fill it with Vermicompostingworms, take it home and let the magic begin! 
The workshop is $35 ($25 for EAC members). Each registered participant is encouraged to bring one guest with them (must be at least 8 years old), so bring your spouse, daughter, grandson, friend, and come learn about the magic of vermicomposting!
NOTE: Workshops fill up quickly; registrations are accepted in the order they are received.  Registrations must include payment to be accepted; once capacity is reached all further registrations will be refunded.  

Sugar Creek Stewards Workday

Volunteer Registration for this workday is closed.  Please keep an eye out for our December workday! 

Come join us for our November workday along Sugar Creek! We need help improving Sugar Creek in designated areas throughout Bloomington and Normal, by clearing invasive plant species and managing the non-invasive plants. scs logo

The next workday is Saturday, November 18, from 9 am – 12 pm. 

Volunteers must be 18 years old or older (or 14 and accompanied by a parent or guardian) and be able to hike along uneven terrain and safely use basic hand tools such as loppers and bow saws. Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own work gloves and (reusable) bottle of water. We typically have scheduled work days the 3rd Saturday of the month throughout the year – invasive species never sleep, so neither can we!

The Sugar Creek Stewards is part of the Ecology Action Center’s Clean Water programming, and is supported by the City of Bloomington and the Town of Normal. For more information, contact us.

barry-mantis

 

Details on worksite and meeting location will be provided to registered volunteers prior to the workday. To become a regular EAC volunteer and be automatically contacted for future Sugar Creek Steward workdays and other volunteer opportunities, register at EAC-Volunteer. Otherwise, please fill out the registration form below!

 

America Recycles Day – MEGA Recycling Event – CANCELLED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER

11/18/17 8:00 a.m. UPDATE: This event has been canceled due to severe weather.  Our apologies for any inconvenience.  

The Ecology Action Center and Illinois Wesleyan University are hosting a MEGA Recycling Event in the IWU Hansen Center parking lot from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, November 18, 2017.

This event is one of thousands across the country to celebrate America Recycles Day, the nationally recognized day to promote and encourage recycling in the United States.

Most families recycle items we typically think of: plastic food containers, glass bottles, newspapers, cardboard, aluminum cans, etc. But what about other items?  For one day only, residents can recycle the “other” recyclables at one place at the same time!

On America Recycles Day at IWU, residents can recycle:

  • Electronics (computers, radios, cellphones, ipods, VCRs, DVD players, etc.)
  • Clothes, textiles, and shoes (usable or not) courtesy of Home Sweet Home Ministries HSHRenew
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids, holiday lights, keys, printer cartridges (courtesy of the Lions Club)
  • Mattresses (Kern Mattress Outlet)
  • Books (Books 2 Benefit)
  • Wall-mounted thermostats containing mercury (Town of Normal Public Works)
  • Corks
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • TerraCycle items (see list at ecologyactioncenter.org/terracycle)
  • As an added bonus, there will be FREE confidential paper shredding on site too.

All items will be properly recycled by licensed recyclers where applicable.

 

Please note, the following items CANNOT be accepted at this event:

  • No CRT/tube-style TVs or monitors.
  • No household appliances – large or small.
  • NO Household hazardous waste items  – NO chemicals, paints, automotive fluids, car batteries, tires, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. These items cannot be accepted at this event and must wait for a future household hazardous waste collection event.
  • This event is for residential materials only – no business materials accepted.

Questions?  Please contact Kris Hall at the Ecology Action Center at (309) 454-3169 x. 12.

 

 

Greenways Conference

This conference showcases our community’s greenways–narrow bands of open spaces that can provide habitat for wildlife, provide essential routes for species migration, filter pollutants from water, enhance scenic and aesthetic qualities, and in many instances expand recreational as well as social, cultural, and economic opportunities. The conference is a chance for anyone who cares about our greenways to come together to mingle, learn from each other, and get inspired.

This fall’s event, held at Uptown Station on November 3, features Jeff Walk of the Nature Conservancy as our keynote speaker, who will open the event with a presentation on the benefits of green infrastructure for watersheds. The Agricultural Watershed Institute’s Steve John will close the event with a discussion of the renewable energy potential of perennial prairie grasses. In between, we’ll hear about:

Outdoor Recreational Opportunities: What’s Available Right Now?, featuring:
Terry Brown, Pantagraph Outdoor Editor and President of Wired2Fish.com
Bill Davison, Educator at the University of Illinois Extension
Mike Steffa, Director of Parks and Recreation for McLean County
Stewardship of Urban Waterways: Sugar Creek
Greenways Opportunities Throughout the Region, featuring:
Jackie Kraft, Director of the McLean County Soil and Water District and Treasurer for the Friends of EverBloom
Angela Funk, Director of the Sugar Grove Nature Center
Erin Herbez, Administrative Director of the ParkLands Foundation. Introduction by Joan Brehm, professor of Environmental Sociology at ISU.

Protect our local water supplies–curb your leaf piles

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release
October 30, 2017

Contact:   Michael Brown
Phone: (309) 454-3169 x.11

For many Bloomington-Normal residents, leaf-raking efforts are already underway. Per directions from both municipalities, leaves should not be raked into the street. In addition to being a possible safety issue, leaves can act as a storm water pollutant.  Washed into the storm sewer system and eventually into creek, streams, and lakes, the additional nutrients from the massive amounts of leaves breaking down can remove oxygen from the water, suffocating plants and wildlife.

The Ecology Action Center urges residents to help keep our local waters clean – by either composting leaves or piling them neatly near the curb for collection.  For additional information on composting contact the Ecology Action Center at (309) 454-3169 or consult ecologyactioncenter.org.

Information on protecting our local watersheds is available at the mCLEANwater.org website, a clearinghouse of local resources about our water and efforts to better protect it.

The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit environmental agency with a mission to inspire and assist residents of McLean County in creating, strengthening and preserving a healthy environment.  The EAC acts as a central resource for environmental education, information, outreach, and technical assistance in McLean County.

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Composting Workshop

REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED.  Workshops will resume in the spring!  We hope to see you then!

Join us on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 90 a.m. to build your own composter!  Backyard composting is an easy way to reduce waste and create rich soil nutrients to enrich your garden at the same time.  Taking advantage of natural processes, minimizes land-filled residential waste and produces a valuable organic fertilizer.

Turn pallets into a compost bin!

Pallet composter

The composting workshop includes everything you need to successfully begin home composting.  We’ll discuss various types of compost systems and techniques in addition to troubleshooting tips to avoid potential problems.  Participants will make and take home a composter ready for use as well as a kitchen compost pail.

Option 1: Wooden Pallet Composter

This collapsible composter will measure approximately 3x3x3 when set up.  It is open on the top, and easy to stir.

Price:  $15 for EAC members; $20 for nonmembers.

Convert a garbage can into a compost barrel!

Garbage can composter

Option 2: Plastic Garbage Cans

This model takes up little room and is easy to duplicate when you need more capacity.  Cans are approximately 30 gallons in size, and participants build TWO composting cans.

Price: $25 for EAC members; $30 for nonmembers.

Workshop space is limited and pre-registration is required. This workshop runs rain or shine. The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your compost bin home. We will be using power tools; safety glasses are required and will be provided. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

 

Sustainable Gourmet 2.0

 

The Ecology Action Center invites you to attend “Wine & Dine, Brew & Chew: Sustainable Gourmet 2.0,” the twelfth annual fundraising event on Thursday, October 12, at 5:30 p.m. This year’s event will feature artisanal local hors d’oeuvres prepared by the culinary team at Epiphany Farms, sampling of sustainably produced wine from Uptown Normal’s Stave Wine Bar, Central-Illinois crafted beer from JT Walker’s in Mahomet and Big Thorn Farm, the nation’s only off-grid farmhouse brewery. This popular fundraiser for the EAC also includes a silent auction with fabulous sustainable items from local businesses and organizations.

During the event, the Ecology Action Center will announce the 2017 recipients of the annual McLean County Green Awards, recognizing efforts to improve our local environment.  Nominations for these awards are being taken until September 14; visit ecologyactioncenter.org to make a nomination for a local individual or business who deserves recognition for their environmental efforts.

Wine & Dine, Brew & Chew will be held at Epiphany Farms Ballroom at 220 E. Front Street in Bloomington, home to incredible gourmet farm to fork creations. Proceeds from this fundraiser benefit the Ecology Action Center and its important environmental sustainability efforts in Bloomington-Normal and McLean County.  Tickets must be purchased in advance; the ticket sales deadline is October 8 or when tickets are sold out, whichever comes first. This event has sold out the past four years in a row so attendees are encouraged to buy tickets early. For more information, contact the Ecology Action Center at (309) 454-3169.

This event is being sponsored by Invenergy, Straight Up Solar, Dr. Matt Fraker & Dr. Sherri Thornton, Stave Wine Bar, Epiphany Farms, JT Walker’s, Big Thorn Farm, WGLT, and Palace Events.

SORRY – TICKETS HAVE SOLD OUT!

 

 

ParkLands at 50 years: Mission unchanged; Methods evolving

Guy Fraker will share with us information on how the ParkLands Foundation is involved in land preservation in Illinois. ParkLands was founded in 1967, the consummation of Loring Merwin’s (the publisher of the Pantagraph) vision.  The original concept was for ParkLands to act as an intermediary, assembling adjacent tracts of land which would them be conveyed to an appropriate unit of government to preserve. Unfortunately this plan did not work out as intended. ParkLands now holds over 3,000 acres. This property is actively managed by ParkLands to restore it to its original condition. ParkLands  stands as  a shining example of local action and leadership , funded by generous donations, large and small. It helps preserves the Illinois landscape that was here first.

Guy Fraker is an Honorary Board of the ParkLands Foundation and an attorney. He is also the author of two book on Abraham Lincoln, is a frequent speaker on Lincoln, and is involved in a number of Lincoln related projects.

For more information on this program please visit http://illinoisprairie.wildones.org/events/origin-and-history-of-parklands/